Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was put in an induced coma on Wednesday after sustaining head and chest injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour de Pologne race in southern Poland.
Sprinting for the win at the end of the event’s opening stage, Jakobsen was sent flying into the side barriers after a collision with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen.
Jakobsen, who races for the Deceuninck-Quick-Step team, was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition and was put in an induced coma, the Tour de Pologne press office said.
Doctor Pawel Gruenpeter of the hospital in Sosnowiec said Jakobsen suffered injuries to the head and chest but his condition was stable at the intensive care unit.
Jakobsen will need surgery to his face and skull, Gruenpeter told state broadcaster TVP Sport.
Race director Czeslaw Lang blamed Groenewegen for the crash, saying the rider’s actions were “not fair play.”
“Groenewegen changed his trajectory, was pressing Jakobsen to the right side and on top of that stuck out his elbow.
“You don’t do that,” said Lang, who took silver in the 1980 Olympic road race for Poland.
Jakobsen was named the winner of the opening stage and Groenewegen was disqualified following the crash, in which a referee and some other cyclists were also injured.
The crash, which happened in the southern city of Katowice, took place exactly a year after Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht died in hospital from injuries he sustained when he crashed into a concrete barrier during the third stage of the 76th edition of the Tour de Pologne.
The 77th edition of the race runs through August 9.